Another road trip – Hill Country spirit dolls with orchid-cousin hair

The Hill country Arts Foundation in Ingram, Texas is a magical place. Located at the  crossroads where Johnson Creek merges with the Guadalupe River, it’s a venue for the education of the arts, visual art exhibitions and  theatrical performances.

On Saturday, I went to HCAF to teach a Spirit Doll workshop. My friend Lynn Luukinen who lives in nearby Kerrville, helped me set up by gathering sticks and twigs from the riverbank – and also ball moss (which almost became the star of the show).

Choosing and assembling spirit doll body parts 🙂

Ball moss has a bad rep, but in fact, it’s not a parasite. It’s an an epiphyte (non-parasitic plant living on other plants) and is a cousin to bromeliads and orchids.

A spirit doll in her underwear with a ball moss hairdo

Besides using the native branches and moss, participating artists brought their own stash of great materials to add to their mystical spirit dolls, and they wrote a purposeful intention to wrap inside each one.

Here are some of our spirit dolls – we had a whole day to play and create at HCAF!

Some people call ball moss, which is rampant everywhere in South Texas, a &%$$%##!! nuisance and pay a fortune to get rid of it. We call it “Spirit Doll Hair” 🙂

If you want to create your own Hill Country spirit doll, here’s a link to the materials list we used. Don’t forget the ball moss!

6 thoughts on “Another road trip – Hill Country spirit dolls with orchid-cousin hair

  1. What beautiful spirit dolls. I love the ball moss. And how much fun they must be to make.

    How are the heads attached to the body?

  2. Your dolls are beautiful! I recently attended an ‘oddities and curiosities’ show in Indianapolis and they had dolls of this style, but they were referred to as something else (that I cannot for the life of me remember). Do you know of any other name for this type of doll art?

    Thanks!

  3. Do you treat the ball moss for any resident “bugs”? I know regular moss here in Florida is full of chiggers or redbugs, that bite. Thanks.

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